Developer Hines is really pleased with itself for insisting on 7 Bryant Park’s weird concave cut-out, according to The Wall Street Journal. And now that the Bank of China Ltd. agreed to buy the building for nearly $600 million late last year, they’re super vindicated.
P.S. Bookshop in Dumbo has nowhere near $600 million; it doesn’t even have the $40,000 it needs to pay its commercial real estate tax and so is doing a kickstarter to raise money, according to Gothamist. The owner of the five-year-old store says that he wasn’t even aware commercial real estate tax was a thing renters needed to pay until last year.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal continues its exhaustive coverage of that escalator at Penn Station, which is now up and running again. Thank god no one has to use that other escalator anymore.
And the de Blasio administration continues its tradition of announcing news to the New York Times, with a story about how the mayor is expected to commit $100 million in his annual budget to homelessness.
Another de Blasio revelation in The Times today: he has finally announced what changes to the 421-a tax abatement he would like to see. Among them, upping the percent of affordable housings unit from 20 to 25, ending geographic exemptions (in which developers building in most areas outside Manhattan can get the break without building any affordable housing). He would also like to see a “mansion” tax on the sale of units above $1.7 million and the end of “poor doors.” Of course, the mayor will need to get such changes through the state legislature and Gov. Cuomo has indicated that he’d basically like to renew 421-a as is. Surprisingly, REBNY is supporting de Blasio, including on the mansion tax, indicating just how worried the real estate industry seems to be about the program’s renewal.
On the other end of the economic spectrum… From luxury rentals to condos: Jared Kushner’s Kushner Cos., (disclosure: Mr. Kushner is the owner of the Observer), Asher Abehsera’s LIVWRK and Rockpoint Group plan to convert Williamsburg’s 184 Kent Avenue, which they bought earlier this year, into condos, Crain’s reports. Tenants at the 338-unit building received the proposed offering plan Mondted.ay with the opportunity to buy the units as is; otherwise a renovation to create even larger units is expected; the median sales price for Brooklyn condos went up 17.5 percent since last year.
And now that $1 million parking spots are a thing, 15 Renwick thought, what’s more steampunk than a few $1 million parking spots? Oh, oh! But they come with a remote-controlled gate and direct access to the lobby, DNAInfo reports, because the super-rich creative types the building is marketed at probably hate nothing more than seeing other people without at least a sheet of glass between them. Best of all is the sales director who boasts about families who drive into a building to “unload their kids and luggage in privacy and then have an on-staff runner park it” are living “a normal life.”
A normal life, of course, is all relative in New York City. For example, the Upper West Side woman who took her cat to a romantic candlelit dinner, via DNAInfo, is probably quite confident of her own normalcy.
And no matter how normal you think it is to dump an old, mud-covered casket across from a Bushwick cemetery, police are going to be pissed, according to DNAInfo. As foul play does not seem to be suspected, police are classifying the incident as “commercial dumping” and “not cool.”